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Author Topic: Printer stops, mid-print  (Read 2470 times)

NoiseReduction

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Printer stops, mid-print
« on: March 04, 2013, 01:02:45 AM »
This is the second time I'm having the same exact problem. First time I ignored it, now it's getting harder.

Once every 10 prints or so, the printer just stops mid print.

Repetier host doesn't say anything, job is still running, hot end is still hot. The printer has Azteeg light and fan on. But the motors just stopped mid print.
The only way to move the motors from repetier is to kill job, disconnect, and connect. Then everything acts normal again...

Something tells me this will be a nightmare to troubleshoot... please help

« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 01:30:58 AM by NoiseReduction »

jit

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 03:17:13 AM »
When things go wrong, start swapping things out.

Swapping out hardware can be problematic, but it's easy to swap out software.  Try pronterface for a while, see if the same problem happens.

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NoiseReduction

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 07:41:24 AM »
When things go wrong, start swapping things out.

Swapping out hardware can be problematic, but it's easy to swap out software.  Try pronterface for a while, see if the same problem happens.

Tried to reprint the same thing from Tinkercad, slightly modified, and it stopped about 40 minutes into the print as well. Could it be a file error?

I wish I at least had an error message or something to give me a hint! There's just nothing in the log

buildrob

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 10:44:42 AM »
What's the connection between your computer and printer? Do you have a hub? Do you have a ferrite bead on your USB cable? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrite_bead ) Are the computer and printer plugged into the same wall socket?

I'm just wondering if the computer is losing the USB connection part way through due to a dodgy hub or long cables.

NoiseReduction

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 06:32:04 PM »
What's the connection between your computer and printer? Do you have a hub? Do you have a ferrite bead on your USB cable? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrite_bead ) Are the computer and printer plugged into the same wall socket?

I'm just wondering if the computer is losing the USB connection part way through due to a dodgy hub or long cables.

USB plugged directly into the front port of a Mac Pro. Long 15 ft cable from monoprice, with ferrite bead.

For the printer ,I'm using a separate power strip plugged to a Furman power conditioner, which is plugged to a furman strip from which the Mac Pro is drawing its power, so technically they're plugged in the same wall socket.

jit

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 07:31:22 PM »
Not sure if this would help in your situation, but people might want to think about it.

A while back I had some kind of electrical glitch while printing.  The lights in the room flashed, then the printer made a rather disturbing noise.  The printer drove the Y axis all the way forward until it wouldn't go any further, and the motor kept going while the synchromesh cable popped on and off its drive pulley.  I ran over and hit the blue reset button.  I dread to think what may have happened if I had been out of the room at the time.

I had already had a couple incidents where strange things happened, ruining prints, but this one convinced me to do something about it.  I went out and got a UPS for my printer, a high-quality one that can kick in during surges or brownouts or whatever.  It has a USB connection that I plug into my Raspberry Pi, so the Pi can monitor the power.  This UPS has enough capacity to run the printer and the Raspberry Pi for several minutes at least.

Ever since then I have not had any weird incidents of this kind.

Surge protectors are designed to keep out surges that would blow out a power supply.  They do nothing to keep out fluctuations that cause the power supply to simply misbehave.  (And misbehavior is more likely if you happen to have a cheap badly designed power supply.)
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NoiseReduction

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 07:44:33 PM »
Not sure if this would help in your situation, but people might want to think about it.

A while back I had some kind of electrical glitch while printing.  The lights in the room flashed, then the printer made a rather disturbing noise.  The printer drove the Y axis all the way forward until it wouldn't go any further, and the motor kept going while the synchromesh cable popped on and off its drive pulley.  I ran over and hit the blue reset button.  I dread to think what may have happened if I had been out of the room at the time.

I had already had a couple incidents where strange things happened, ruining prints, but this one convinced me to do something about it.  I went out and got a UPS for my printer, a high-quality one that can kick in during surges or brownouts or whatever.  It has a USB connection that I plug into my Raspberry Pi, so the Pi can monitor the power.  This UPS has enough capacity to run the printer and the Raspberry Pi for several minutes at least.

Ever since then I have not had any weird incidents of this kind.

Surge protectors are designed to keep out surges that would blow out a power supply.  They do nothing to keep out fluctuations that cause the power supply to simply misbehave.  (And misbehavior is more likely if you happen to have a cheap badly designed power supply.)

Thanks for the tip!
Power stability issues have crossed my mind, to be honest.

USB shouldn't be the issue, IMO. I've dealt with all kinds of USB problems in the audio/DAW arena, where ferrite beads are frowned upon, but there was never a situation where the problem was specifically found to be the long cable, nor the ferrite bead...

Now a UPS...hmm I'll try different outlets first. I find I'm spending way more money on this than I expected (especially with all the failed prints and wasted PLA), and $100+ on a big & heavy UPS now is not exactly fun, if I'm trying to make the printing rig moderately portable.

jit

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2013, 08:11:17 PM »
You don't need an especially big UPS for a load like this.  The power supply is rated for 350W I think, so the UPS has to be rated for that amount at least.  That's at the low end of UPS sizes.  (But avoid the bargain basement ones that don't have USB, unless you can't use that feature.)

The USB monitoring feature is nice, as it will command your host software to shut down in an orderly fashion when the battery gets low.  Software that is running a robot shouldn't be allowed to shut down in a disorderly fashion.
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PhracturedBlue

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 01:55:27 AM »
As a 'me too' I'll mention that I was running my printer with a 6ft usb-cable without ferrite cores (connected to a RPi..no UPS).  Whenever I flipped the lights off, the printer would stop.  Switching to a usb cable with a ferrite core completly removed the issue.  I was quite surprised that the noise would couple to the USB cable in that way.

NoiseReduction

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 04:53:59 AM »
It has a USB connection that I plug into my Raspberry Pi, so the Pi can monitor the power.  This UPS has enough capacity to run the printer and the Raspberry Pi for several minutes at least.

That's very interesting  - but is that USB feature useful if I have the arduino instead of the pi? :P

If it isn't, I'll just go with something like http://www.amazon.com/APC-BE550G-Back-UPS-Outlet-550VA/dp/B0019804U8/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1362541302&sr=1-1&keywords=UPS

Thanks so much for your help!

jit

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 07:03:42 AM »
The APC unit you mentioned does have USB monitoring capability.  Linux already knows how to talk to this unit, for other platforms you have to download the PowerChute software from their website and install it.


I should clarify my setup...

The printer is controlled by its onboard Azteeg (an Arduino derivative) running the Marlin firmware.  The Azteeg is attached via USB cable to the Raspberry Pi which is running the Pronterface host software on top of the Debian-derived Raspbian operating system (a GNU/Linux distribution).

The UPS is connected via another USB cable to the Raspberry Pi.  The UPS switches to internal battery power if the line power goes outside prescribed limits.  The operating system monitors the UPS and will send shutdown signals to all running applications if the UPS is running on battery power and the battery runs down.

The host software then has the opportunity to save state and shutdown the printer in a prescribed way.  It is conceivable that a print could be resumed after a power failure.  I'm pretty sure the host software we are currently using cannot do anything like this, but that's no reason for it to never have that capability.  Somebody just needs to improve the code.

People who live in places where the electricity supply is unreliable should be able to use 3D printers too.


« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 07:17:17 AM by jit »
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NoiseReduction

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 08:00:57 PM »
The APC unit you mentioned does have USB monitoring capability.  Linux already knows how to talk to this unit, for other platforms you have to download the PowerChute software from their website and install it.


I should clarify my setup...

The printer is controlled by its onboard Azteeg (an Arduino derivative) running the Marlin firmware.  The Azteeg is attached via USB cable to the Raspberry Pi which is running the Pronterface host software on top of the Debian-derived Raspbian operating system (a GNU/Linux distribution).

The UPS is connected via another USB cable to the Raspberry Pi.  The UPS switches to internal battery power if the line power goes outside prescribed limits.  The operating system monitors the UPS and will send shutdown signals to all running applications if the UPS is running on battery power and the battery runs down.

The host software then has the opportunity to save state and shutdown the printer in a prescribed way.  It is conceivable that a print could be resumed after a power failure.  I'm pretty sure the host software we are currently using cannot do anything like this, but that's no reason for it to never have that capability.  Somebody just needs to improve the code.

People who live in places where the electricity supply is unreliable should be able to use 3D printers too.

You're right! it does support USB :) My bad

Pretty sleek setup, as you describe it! I'd love to have more options to control the printer remotely and without a computer, and indeed, a raspberry pi seems like a very good idea. I'm trying to decide if I should still just make it a portable rig and get a dedicated full-blown laptop, where I could also edit files and control all aspects of the printer.

Would also be cool to have a touchscreen-controlled raspberry pi permanently mounted on the printer frame :P

Temporarily, I'll just set up a thumb drive with "portabilized" apps (drivers, repetier, pronterface) all ready to plug in, install and fire up.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 08:03:23 PM by NoiseReduction »

jit

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 11:01:31 PM »
If you intend to carry your printer around with you, then a laptop makes a lot of sense.  With a Pi, you would have to carry around a monitor and a keyboard, a somewhat more bulky pile of stuff.

I'm not planning to carry my printer around much, but I will probably relocate it to a place not close to my desk some day.  I will attach the Pi to the printer frame, much as the Azteeg is attached, and monitor and control the print through the network.  (Also might want to watch the printer work.  The $25 HD camera coming from the Raspberry Pi Foundation next month ought to be quite sufficient.)

This would not be a significant change from my current workflow.  I only use the Pi to run the host software, and use a more powerful computer (with a much larger monitor) to run Slic3r standalone (and also to run openscad and everything else I need).  (I have run Slic3r and openscad on the Pi, BTW.  They work fine there, although they would probably slow down tremendously if large and complicated parts were attempted, as the Pi's 512MB of RAM would run out and it would start swapping to the SD card.)

BTW, if you want to see how a host controller does its job, check out this file:

https://github.com/kliment/Printrun/blob/master/printcore.py

It's not very long, only about six pages long if you printed it out.

It contains all of the basic functionality required to control a Bukobot from a host computer.

Well, almost.  It's a library, so you need to call it from something.  This is what you do:

Connect your computer to your Azteeg controller, and power up.  Install pronterface into the usual folder, if you haven't already.  The file mentioned above will end up in that folder.  Also copy a gcode file you want to print into that folder.

Open a terminal window, change to that folder, and start up python by typing:

Code: [Select]
python
Then type the following into the python interpreter (changing the constants as needed for your system):

Code: [Select]
import printcore
pr = printcore.printcore('/dev/ttyUSB0', 250000)    # USB port device, baud rate
f = open('yourobject.gcode')    # the file you want to print
lines = f.readlines()
f.close()
pr.startprint(lines)



« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 12:03:25 AM by jit »
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NoiseReduction

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 12:17:38 AM »
If you intend to carry your printer around with you, then a laptop makes a lot of sense.  With a Pi, you would have to carry around a monitor and a keyboard, a somewhat more bulky pile of stuff.

I'm not planning to carry my printer around much, but I will probably relocate it to a place not close to my desk some day.  I will attach the Pi to the printer frame, much as the Azteeg is attached, and monitor and control the print through the network.  (Also might want to watch the printer work.  The $25 HD camera coming from the Raspberry Pi Foundation next month ought to be quite sufficient.)

This would not be a significant change from my current workflow.  I only use the Pi to run the host software, and use a more powerful computer (with a much larger monitor) to run Slic3r standalone (and also to run openscad and everything else I need).  (I have run Slic3r and openscad on the Pi, BTW.  They work fine there, although they would probably slow down tremendously if large and complicated parts were attempted, as the Pi's 512MB of RAM would run out and it would start swapping to the SD card.)

BTW, if you want to see how a host controller does its job, check out this file:

https://github.com/kliment/Printrun/blob/master/printcore.py

It's not very long, only about six pages long if you printed it out.

It contains all of the basic functionality required to control a Bukobot from a host computer.

Well, almost.  It's a library, so you need to call it from something.  This is what you do:

Connect your computer to your Azteeg controller, and power up.  Install pronterface into the usual folder, if you haven't already.  The file mentioned above will end up in that folder.  Also copy a gcode file you want to print into that folder.

Open a terminal window, change to that folder, and start up python by typing:

Code: [Select]
python
Then type the following into the python interpreter (changing the constants as needed for your system):

Code: [Select]
import printcore
pr = printcore.printcore('/dev/ttyUSB0', 250000)    # USB port device, baud rate
f = open('yourobject.gcode')    # the file you want to print
lines = f.readlines()
f.close()
pr.startprint(lines)

Very cool! You're the best, jit :) Now I just need to learn python :P

whosawhatsis

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Re: Printer stops, mid-print
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 01:49:36 AM »
If you use Octoprint or Repetier Server on the Pi, you don't need a keyboard or monitor. These host a web server to control the printer, so you can run it from a tablet or smartphone.

 

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